How to stop being in control

The first question that may arise from the reader – “And why do you actually need to stop controlling everything?”After all, the ability to control, willpower, the ability to hold oneself in control determine the maturity of a person. To control needs and spontaneous reactions means to anticipate the development of events and manage your life – and this is the key to a prosperous life where uncertainty is minimized. The extent to which a person is capable of control largely determines whether he or she will achieve life goals, whether he or she will be effective in the profession, personal and public life.

In fact, all people have a need for control, it helps a person to survive, You have to do this by minimizing the possible risks. But the degree to which this need is expressed varies. Sometimes it can go beyond reason and turn into total overcontrol, which no longer helps a person, but hinders him.

The desire to always have a hand on the pulse, to have power over all processes, both internal and external, is fraught with constant fear, guilt, if something went wrong, dissatisfaction with themselves and their environment, increased irritability.

Supercontrollers don’t know how to let things drift away, Are unable to adjust to the constantly changing realityAnd, faced with things that are impossible to control (illness, death, force majeure, etc.) are completely helpless.

How to stop controlling everything

Inner control. I control myself

A healthy version is one in which the individual analyzes his or her actions, thoughts, and consequences. AtOn the basis of this analysis, he draws a conclusion about the rightness or wrongness of his decisions. He then adjusts his future behavior with this in mind. This is normal, constructive inner control.

Controlling oneself, trying to control one’s inner state, is normal behavior for a mature adult.But when a person keeps his feelings in check, does not allow himself any spontaneous expressions, and suppresses his naturalness, this indicates destructive control. He learns to withhold his feelings and bodily expressions as a child. overcontrollers usually grow up from children who were shamed for any emotion (“Stop crying – don’t upset mommy”), reacted negatively to any spontaneous displays (“Behave yourself,” “Don’t yell – you’re not in the woods”), or simply showed little interest in the child’s feelings and experiences. This baby gradually gets used to the idea that his feelings are unimportant and even dangerous, because his mother might love him if he cries, makes noises, mischief.e. behave in accordance with his age. it is necessary to learn to adapt to others and it is desirable to stop feeling anything at all. With this attitude, he enters adulthood and considers suppressing himself, his own self, to be the only effective way of interacting with the surrounding world. This is the only way to survive without incurring the anger and resentment of others important to him.

It turns out that the need to keep everything under control is a mechanism of mental protection, which was born in childhood. It was originally adaptive, i.e.k. Ensured the possibility of survival. But gradually it grew into almighty control (a psychological term meaning an unconscious belief in one’s ability to control everything) and became the only possible scenario for living and interacting with oneself and others.

The flip side of such behavior is excessive coldness, stressed independence and inaccessibility to close contact. A person who hardly feels himself or herself has little ability to understand and empathize with others. suffers from loneliness as a result.

The negative consequences of the internal excessive control include various psychosomatic diseases. Because the emotions that are not let out remain in the body in the form of muscle clamps, cramps, etc.d. Inability to respond to bodily cues and a desire to suppress them are also fraught with serious health consequences. Man ignores hunger, fatigue, other needs. As a result, she often falls ill, suffers from insomnia, eating disorders, etc.d.

External control. I control others

The acute need for control is rarely confined to the self and usually extends to others. One gets the feeling that he/she needs to control not only his/her inner state, but also the entire surrounding reality – to have a hand on the pulse, to have power over all the processes. It makes it easier for him to cope with the unknown, which inspires a sense of helplessness and intolerable anxiety.

Total control becomes a way of coping with these painful experiences. If you thoroughly calculate all the risks, prepare for all possible contingencies, you can be confident and calm about the result. This behavior pattern is usually dominant in over-controllers. So they always need to know where their children, husband, what their subordinates are doing at any given moment. They are ready for all the questions they may be asked at the job interview; they cannot live without a planner, in which they have all the cases and tasks; they always have ready emergency numbers, etc.d.

To be well prepared, to be able to plan and take responsibility for one’s life is not a bad thing in and of itself. But like everything in life, this excessive outside control has another side: hyperresponsibility, perfectionism, and a need to control others.

Controlling and overprotective

Very often the urge to control is presented under the sauce of caring.The overcontroller tries not to let anything slip his mind, to make sure the children have done their homework, the husband has eaten his lunch, the mother has bought the right medicine, etc.d.Everyone close to them becomes a victim of hyperprotection and care which masquerades as control. It deprives them of the ability to take responsibility for their own lives and the mistakes they make, and deprives them of autonomy. And such control is born out of a feeling of anxiety and helplessness, which appeared because the hypercontroller doesn’t trust either himself, or his loved ones, or life in general. The external reality is too insecure for him, you can only expect a catch from people, they can let you down at any time. But if one oversees things for oneself, then one can calm down a little. The person interferes in the lives of loved ones and monitors everything that happens, t.k. This gives him/her the feeling that he/she can influence the life and protect himself/herself from any surprises.

Control and power

It also happens that the control over other people is not born out of anxiety, but out of a desire to control the lives of others. In most cases, this need for power is unrecognized, and to the person himself, as well as to those around him, it looks like an urge to care and a sincere desire to help.

Being aware of all the events that occur in the life of a partner, parents or children not only relieves unnecessary anxiety, but also gives the opportunity to manipulate.

Simple questions like “How are you??”, “Where was?”, “What did you do today??”may not be a sincere expression of interest. Behind it hides a desire to know what is happening in the life of another, to be aware of his life events. This desire to control the life of loved ones through care is nothing less than manipulation.

Healthy control and compulsion to control others are easy to distinguish. If you help and care in response to a request for help, this is the main criterion for the appropriateness of such assistance.

People with a tendency to hypercontrol

People prone to hypercontrol

  1. People with low self-esteem: by controlling others and interfering in their lives, they escape the fear that they will stop being noticed and appreciated.

  2. People with inflated self-esteem: they tend to look down on others and devalue those around them, so they try to patronize them.

  3. Narcissistic personalities: By controlling others they strengthen their sense of omnipotence and grandiosity.

  4. Rigid personalities: they have trouble adjusting to fast-paced circumstances, nothing scares them like the unknown; thus control becomes a way to avoid unnecessary stress.

How to loosen up your control

  1. The first step is to see and acknowledge it.Think about how much of an inner controller you have? Do you often hold yourself back, do you feel inhibited?

  2. Recognize how the inner controller controls you and those around you. To do this, take apart each area of your life one by one – family, work, friends, finances, etc.d. Observe where you are exerting excessive control in those areas. Consider what fears or needs are behind the desire to control yourself or those close to you.

  3. After that, proceed to take inventory of your controlling behavior. Determine what you can influence and where control is useful and where it is detrimental.

  4. The important thing to remember here is that only your actions are controllable, reactions and attitudes to people and events. Everything else, including the lives of others, is beyond control. Therefore, recognize other people’s right to live their lives the way they want to. Don’t think that your loved ones are helpless, and that without your kicks the planet will stop spinning and life will stop. Be responsible only for yourself and your decisions.

  5. Get help, But first, make sure you really need it – don’t violate the psychological boundaries of those around you.

  6. If you have a strong desire to be in control, think about what secondary benefits you get from it.Could it be that by allowing yourself to influence someone else’s life, you are trying to get them to give you control?. Or so you get the right to see yourself as a victim (I give you everything and you give me…) and from this position accuse and manipulate.

  7. Observe yourself throughout the day, and as soon as you notice that you’re “slipping” into a habitual control strategy, stop yourself.


“Breaking Free from the Trap of Co-Dependence,” J. B. H. AND B. Wanhold

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